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The VII Provinces, by G. de L'Isle. c. 1702

Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.

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Carte des Provinces Unies des Pays Bas.

€350  ($4900 / £301)
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Item Number:  26214
Category:  Antique maps > Europe > The Netherlands
References: Van der Heijden-Blonk - #53 between state 1 and 3

Old map of the 7 Provinces, by G. De L'Isle.

Oude kaart van de 7 Provinciën, door G. De L'Isle.

Date of the first edition: 1702
Date of this map: c. 1702

Copper engraving, printed on paper.
Size (not including margins): 37.5 x 61.5cm (14.6 x 24 inches)
Verso: Blank
Condition: Excellent.
Condition Rating: A+
References: Van der Heijden-Blonk, #53 between state 1 and 3.

This map is dated 1702 (= 1st state), but with the address "Quai de l'Horloge" (State 3).

Guillaume Delisle (Paris, 1675 – 1726)

Guillaume Delisle (de L’Isle), one of the key figures in the development of French cartography, is the son of Claude Delisle, a cartographer, and the half-brother of astronomers Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Louis de l'Isle de la Croyère.

While his father has to be given credit for educating Guillaume, the boy showed early signs of being an exceptional talent. He soon contributed to the family workshop by drawing maps for his father's historical works. To perfect his skills, Guillaume Delisle became the student of the astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini. Early on, he produced high-quality maps, the first being his Carte de la Nouvelle-France et des Pays Voisins in 1696. Delisle's first atlas appeared around 1700, and in 1702 he became a member of the French Académie Royale des Sciences. He taught geography to the young Louis XV, and in 1718 he received the title of Premier Géographe du Roi. On a commission from Peter the Great, he produced a map of the Caspian Sea, a region barely known. Many of the place names he gave are still in use. His Carte de la Louisiane et du cours du Mississippi (1718) is the first detailed map of this region.

A six-year-long plagiarism trial pits Delisle against Jean-Baptiste Nolin, cartographer. It is Nolin, the real plagiarist, who loses.

Delisle has remained famous for his astronomical-based corrections and the completeness of its topography. The high scientific quality of the work produced by the Delisle family contrasted with the workshop of Sanson. While Sanson knowingly published outdated facts and mistakes, Delisle constantly updated his maps to reflect widening knowledge of the world.